A Vox guitar's history

Hey folks.

I have an interesting (to me) problem here. I've been offered a vintage Vox Phantom 12 string guitar. It clearly is NOT Italian made. My best research is that it is Japanese made in '67. Anyway, he claims there is a history behind it relating to a well-known band. I don't want to give too many details because he believes it may have been stolen and if it is what he thinks, may have a reward for the finder or fines for the possessor. I kinda doubt either one. But it does have a serial number and someone's name and what looks like his S/S number on the headstock mount cover plate. I haave pictures, just have to get them up online to show them here...
So, my question is : Are there resources to check on the history of guitars that may have been in the public light at one time?
I have checked the official and un-official websites of the band in question and there was never any mention of this guitar ever being owned by any member. There were several thefts of equipment but none listed a Vox guitar.
The current owner said the story was that it was owned by a friend or roadie or something like that and was stolen (by my friend's dead relative) at a Chicago gig back in the day. He admits it's sketchy and is not using this to boost up the guitar's value. Frankly, after looking it over and doing my own research, I conclude these were pretty crappy guitars, even new. But they did have a unique look and I want an electric 12-string and he owes me money so I'd like to take it as payment. I just don't want to go modifying it if it has any real value as-is. I'll probably take off the 'pickguard' plate and just rebuild everything new on a new plate and keep as much of the original on the original plate.
Perhaps I can take suggestions on what pickups y'all think might be best here. The string spacing is pretty typical of modern 6-strings - 48-50mm pole spacing should work fine. I'll probably use a humbuk at the bridge and singles elsewhere. It would be nice to find suitable offset pickups to match the original split pickups but they would have to be narrower than today's standard humbuk cuz' I don't wanna remove any wood. I would like to give it some kinda unique sound too, to go with it's unique look but that's not a requirement.
Wow. I think that's a long enough post. I'm looking foreward to hearing from anyone who can help me. Thanks

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Blimey! Don't go modding it - that sacriliege.

These guitars sell for £1000 and up in the UK. All the examples I've looked at have been pretty fine guitars, although perhaps a little clunky by modern standards.

Does it have a tremolo? (A trem on a 12- string - crazy, eh?) The italian made ones often had a Bigsby-esque tremo, but I don't think the Jap ones did.

No tremolo. Oh yeah, this is the "stereo" 12-string. Wierd setup but I guess it was made to fit one special Vox amp.
I have watched what sales I could of these for about a year, now. The only ones I've found were in great to excellent condition. This one is certainly not. I did check it out and the original electronics are barely passing electrons. Maybe 1-1/2 pickups worked, none of the wafer switches were clean and almost none of the pots worked properly (and tere are a LOT of them). This is why I want to 'upgrade' it. But the plan is to make an entirely new faceboard and keep the old one as intact as possible. All new electronics on the new board, all original on the old board. This way, when I want to restore it to it's current condition, I just swap plates with everything already in place. And the old one would be vacuum sealed until such time.
It looks like this thing might have taken 5 minutes to setup before each song! And all those controls to bump when you're playing! I'll be eliminating the split pickup format and no more "stereo" action, but it will still have 6 pots and 3 wafer switches - more for looks than needs.
Anyway, don't despair, I won't be doing anything permanent to it except maybe, stitching up a tear in the rear pad.

Hy-Lo made Phantom copies outa Japan in '67. If you do a Google you'll find a few peices of info. I know nothing about Hy-Lo. I wasn't even born! :)

Of course, I'm not saying your guitar is a Hy-Lo, I'm just adding to the thread for trivial sake. The Phantom is a cool guitar and I'd like to see yours once your in posession.

Well, I got a pic and put it up where it (should be) accessible.


It's a full sized pic so I dint insert it in the board. You should just have to click on the lnik or copy it to your browser's address line.


Nope. That's not working for me.

OK, try this!

I tried photobucket but I am NOT giving them my cell phone number. The second suggested site is closing down so hopefully, this will work.

Stellar Sam

That's a great looking guitar...would be a piece of piss to sort some new pots and switches and have it up and running as it should be.

Pretty sure it is italian by the way.

Sixties voxes were made in italy and england, and the italian ones had black vox logos while the uk ones have green logos

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